By Lisa Richwine
LOS ANGELES, Sept 20 (Reuters) – AT&T Inc’s HBO network dominated Sunday’s Emmy Awards with 30 wins, including best drama “Succession” and limited series “Watchmen,” while Apple Inc took home its first award for the iPhone maker’s dive into streaming television.
Online video pioneer Netflix Inc, which headed into the ceremony with a record 160 nominations, earned 21 honors. The Pop cable network, owned by ViacomCBS Inc, took the top comedy prize for offbeat series “Schitt’s Creek,” which swept comedy categories to collect nine awards overall.
Winning the highest honors in television bestows a mark of prestige that networks can tout in their marketing to attract audiences in a crowded entertainment landscape. AT&T, Walt Disney Co, Apple and others have launched streaming video services to compete with Netflix.
HBO had dominated the Emmys for years with hits such as “The Sopranos,” “Sex and the City” and “Game of Thrones.” Before Sunday, it was the most honored network for 17 of the past 18 years. The exception was in 2018, when Netflix and HBO tied in Emmy wins.
This year, HBO’s alternative-reality drama “Watchmen” was the most honored program overall with 11 awards, while the network’s media dynasty drama “Succession” scored seven honors.
Netflix’s awards included best supporting drama actress for Julia Garner in “Ozark.”
Apple secured its first Emmy for Billy Crudup’s supporting role in “The Morning Show” as a manipulative executive at a news network rocked by a sexual harassment scandal. The show runs on Apple TV+, the company’s subscription TV offering.
“Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian,” a show on the Disney+ streaming service about a bounty hunter who protects Baby Yoda, won eight awards.
The Pop network landed the best comedy award for the sixth and final season of “Schitt’s Creek,” a series about a once-wealthy family forced to live in a rundown motel in an out-of-the-way town. The show was filmed in Toronto and aired on the CBC network in Canada.
“Thanks to CBC and Pop for broadcasting this without hesitation,” creator and star Daniel Levy said as he accepted his award.
The wins for “Schitt’s Creek” also were a victory for Netflix. The series has streamed on Netflix since 2017, helping to boost the audience. Actor Eugene Levy thanked Netflix for “the spark that seemed to start everything” for the show. (Reporting by Lisa Richwine; editing by Jonathan Oatis)